Tuesday, February 25, 2020

MythOff Budapest: Love is blind

On February 12th, two days before Valentine's Day, we had the first Mythoff Budapest of the year! Accordingly, the theme was love, and since love myths are easier to find from all over the world, we all drew out mythologies from a hat. Hence the title of the event: Love is blind.

This time we planned for a longer session: instead of six, we had eight tellers and four rounds. Our emcee was Nagy Enikő, with Klitsie-Szabad Bogi as her second-in-command since tonight both of them were also among the tellers. The prizes, obviously, were Valentine's themed, courtesy of Bogi.

Here is the rundown:

Round one: What would you do for love?

The evening opened with Varga-Fogarasi Szilvia telling a story from the Finnish Kalevala, about Ilmarinen the Blacksmith fulfilling various impossible tasks to win his bride (including descending into the Underworld). I was the other half of the team; I chose the story of Wild Dumrul from the Oguz Turkish Book of Dede Korkut. Dede Korkut was one of the favorite epics of my late beloved storytelling mentor, Cathryn Fairlee, so when I drew Central Asia, I chose to tell from it in her memory. Wild Dumrul battles the angel of Death in this story, and his and his wife's enduring love defeats the angel in the end.
Voting question: What would you rather do for your beloved? Descend into the Underworld, or wrestle the Angel of Death?
Winner: Angel of Death (our audience was fearless)

Round two: Toxic love

This round had myths were someone got the wrong idea about what love was supposed to look like. In the Roman corner Hajós Erika told the story of Io from Ovid, where Jupiter was being a rapey jerk. Also in this round we had a new addition to our MythOff team, Dala Dániel, who told the Chinese story of Meng Jiang, whose husband was built into the Great Wall by the Yellow Emperor, who then wanted to marry the widow by force. Our new teller was eloquent and enthusiastic, and we are happy he joined us!
Voting question: If you could save one girl from her dark destiny, which one would you rather save?
Winner: The majority wished for a happy ending for Meng Jiang.

Round three: Oceans of love

This round had myths where love intertwined with the element of water. Nagy Enikő told a story from Tuamotu, where a woman named Hina swam across to another island in search of her true love, aided (or abandoned) by various sea animals. Stenszky Cecília told the Japanese origin myth of emperors, where a legendary hunter descended to the bottom of the ocean, and married the daughter of the Dragon King.
Voting Question: Which journey would you rather take on for your beloved? Swim across the ocean, or under it?
Winner: Most people preferred to swim horizontally like Hina did

Round four: From death comes love

We had two myths this evening where love was born beyond death. One came from the Mayan Popol Vuh, told by Klitsie-Szabad Bogi with great respect and eloquence. The other was the Egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris, as told by Gregus László. This round was the perfect closing for the evening: not even death can defeat love.
Voting question: If you had to pick a name to add to the official list of baby names, which would you rather pick, Horus or Jaguar Deer?
Winner: Jaguar Deer

You can follow more MythOff news on Facebook! See you at the next event!

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